One Garden Pier, Two Conditions plus RIBA = Three strokes of bad luck for the Garden Bridge this we
There were revelations that the mayor is desperate to start construction of the Garden Bridge at any cost and so the suggestion of a Garden Pier has ap-piered! More details of this crazy scheme can be found here http://www.lbc.co.uk/could-the-garden-bridge-become-a-garden-pier-124630
Meanwhile at Lambeth council’s Planning Applications Committee (PAC) meeting tonight, the Garden Bridge Trust (GBT) failed to get two out of five of their planning conditions discharged in this tranche (a brief outline of events can be found here: https://storify.com/se1/garden-bridge).
This was a cross-party-motion moved by a Tory and seconded by a Labour councillor – in fact the Tory councillor suggested rejecting the two conditions outright.
It is apparent that these conditions have been poorly retro-fitted to answer to planning concerns when permission was granted by Lambeth in November 2014. The GBT were heavily criticised by local ward councillors of being incapable of communicating properly with the public, and that “data that we hear from [Lambeth] officers who are operating under a strategic desire by senior Lambeth officers to push the application through at any cost.” (They have multiple meetings with the GBT).
It is looking unlikely that remaining pre-construction planning conditions will be discharged before July 2016 including the critical GLA guarantee offered by the mayor - which puts the Garden Bridge Trust several months behind schedule. The alleged clash with the Thames Tideway Tunnel should not be a problem according to GBT trustee Paul Morrell: http://www.bdonline.co.uk/thames-tideway-clash-comes-into-garden-bridge-view/5074714.article yet this is the basis on which the Department of Transport rushed through its £30m grant, also bypassing proper scrutiny according the a report by the National Audit Office.
Therefore we strongly support the president of RIBA’s recent call that the Garden Bridge project should be stopped and scrutinised (but really, scrapped) before more public money is put at risk: https://www.architecture.com/RIBA/Contactus/NewsAndPress/PressReleases/2016/GardenBridgeprocurement.aspx